5 Great Careers in Zoology

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Five Popular Zoology Jobs

  • Ecologist
  • Zookeeper
  • Nature Conservation Specialist
  • Marine Scientist
  • Field Researcher

Zoology is branch of the life sciences that involves studying the animal kingdom, and there are many rewarding zoology careers available in a variety of disciplines within the field. Work sites vary from a laboratory setting to an animal's natural habitat, and job duties can involve anything from detailed observation of behavior to running blood and tissue tests to study animal diseases. Some examples of jobs in zoology include the following.

1. Ecologist

In this zoology job, professionals study an entire natural system including plants, animals, water and land resources, insects, and even the climate and how the parts are all interconnected. In many ecology positions, of particular importance is the ways in which human activity affects a particular ecosystem. In fact, some ecologists solely do environmental impact studies for different companies or the government and examine the effects of new construction on a particular site. Others study how ecosystems change over time and monitor for overpopulation of particular animal or plant species in different areas. Regardless of individual specialty, a large part of this career involves making recommendations to minimize the human footprint on nature.

2. Zookeeper

This is one of the most hands-on careers in zoology as it involves actually caring for animals and their habitats in zoos. A team of zookeepers have a variety of responsibilities including daily feeding and cleaning as well as observing and documenting any unusual animal behavior. They also monitor the health of sick or pregnant animals and help care for young animals born in captivity. Other zookeepers do presentations for guests, answer questions, and design educational material.

3. Nature Conservation Specialist

Zoologists in this position are primarily concerned with protecting natural environments as much as possible in the face of human development. Some conservation specialists analyze different metrics to determine the level of contamination of air, water, and soil while others focus on educating the public on concepts like sustainability and the importance of recycling. While many of these professionals work for the government or nonprofits, according to Forbes, an increasing number of businesses are looking to conservation and sustainability methods in order to decrease risk and maximize their profits.

4. Marine Scientist

This aspect of zoology focuses on underwater creatures and ecosystems as well as the water cycle as a whole. Since this plays an important role in climate change, a marine zoologist is often an integral part of any team doing climate research. Other important areas of study include the effects of fishing and underwater mining on sea life.

5. Field Researcher

This is the zoology career option for hands-on individuals as these professionals spend their time actually carrying out experiments and taking precise measurements. Sometimes they also do the preliminary research and design the protocol, but often, field researchers handle the technical aspects of a project for another scientist. These professionals need to be careful to follow protocols exactly and document every part of the experiments in order for the results to be valid.

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Zoologists are employed in both the public and private sectors, and universities, research institutes, and conservation organizations are some of the leading employers in the field. Great jobs in zoology are available regardless of an individual's personal interests and ambitions.